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Hey folks. I haven't been on this forum for ages. Here is a build for a CF-18 pilot in Cold Lake, commissioned by his parents, who are good friends from WAY back in my Moose Jaw days.

First, as usual, what I'm using.

The KInetic (Academy) F/A-18A+ kit.

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CF-18 Op Mobile set (resin)

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Canopy masks

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Cockpit PE

QLKmAZZ.jpg

 

And, probably, some metal main landing gear legs so the gear won't sag over time.

 

ALF

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The resin is very comprehensive. Cockpit set, correct seat, fat pylons, the works.

88P8jCT.jpg

 

It took forever to chop off this huge casting block!

iimKokI.jpg

 

ED5ZnLy.jpg

 

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The detail in this cockpit tub is amazing. I especially like the avionics bay behind the seat. I'll probably bend the bay cover so it's not velcroed in place, to allow the detail to show after it's built.

nVER7SZ.jpg

 

Checking the fit in the fuselage. I will need to do a tiny bit more chopping, but the hardest part is done for the cockpit tub.

uh21Oz4.jpg

 

beS5PFr.jpg

 

More soon!

ALF

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21 hours ago, ALF18 said:

 

And, probably, some metal main landing gear legs so the gear won't sag over time.

 

ALF

 

 

Looking forward to this one Dan!

 

As for the landing gear, I am 95% certain that if you just load the interior of the plastic legs with CA glue where the wire rod goes, the legs won't sag over time.  What makes them sag is that the metal rod can slide and the plastic eventually sags, so if you can fuse them both into one unit, you should be good.  I used the G-Factor brass legs on my last CF-18 and they worked very well as well, but the clean-up on them was a ton of work- and you still have to make a reverse shock absorber.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
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Great work so far Alf. I have the original version and should be okay. I love that your pictures are nice and large.

 

That resin looks like it fits very well as compared to a similar set by Aires I would suspect. So I should pick that set up as I am probably only going to build one CF-18.


By the way whose decals would you be using? I don't normally build 1/32nd so I have no decals for the Hornet in that scale.

 

Edited by skyhawk174
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I've got a 1/32 Hornet in the stash (Kinetic's version of the Academy kit), with all the same extras as you. I'm waiting to build up my skills before tackling it, so I'll be watching your build with keen interest. I second the question about decals. I got a set from Canuck Models. Check them out if you haven't yet picked something for your build.

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On 1/5/2019 at 5:19 PM, chuck540z3 said:

 

 

Looking forward to this one Dan!

 

As for the landing gear, I am 95% certain that if you just load the interior of the plastic legs with CA glue where the wire rod goes, the legs won't sag over time.  What makes them sag is that the metal rod can slide and the plastic eventually sags, so if you can fuse them both into one unit, you should be good.  I used the G-Factor brass legs on my last CF-18 and they worked very well as well, but the clean-up on them was a ton of work- and you still have to make a reverse shock absorber.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

As usual, Chuck, your advice is solid. I'm still debating what to do. I sure like the detail on the kit's plastic gear, and I am not averse to splooging a bunch of CA glue into the strut to fuse the metal to the plastic.

ALF

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On 1/4/2019 at 8:23 PM, AlienFrogModeller said:

Im in, watching this one! Looking good so far.

Nice to have you on board again!

On 1/5/2019 at 6:34 AM, rom said:

Nice project!

Break out the popcorn. I'll try to keep this thread fairly active.

23 hours ago, skyhawk174 said:

Great work so far Alf. I have he original version and should be okay. I love that your pictures are nice and large.

 

That resin looks like it fits very well as compared to a similar set by Aires I would suspect. So I should pick that set up as I am probably only going to build one CF-18.


By the way whose decals would you be using? I don't normally build 1/32nd so I have no decals for the Hornet in that scale.

 

Thanks, man. So far I'm liking the resin. The PE is great as well. I used it on a Dual in 1/32 that I did previously, and I really liked the result, but this is the first time I'm combining a resin cockpit with the PE. It's a bit of a slow process, figuring out what is the best combination of parts. For example, the PE comes with a metal "box" representing the tops of the rudder pedals. The resin has them as well. Not sure which I'll be using. I have used those boxes at the top of the rudder pedals many times, to pull back the rudder pedals when they are cold-soaked and the spring doesn't bring them back toward the seat as it should when you press the pedal adjust lever down.

 

I have some old Leading Edge decals, which I will certainly use for the tail number, because the guy I'm building it for has asked for a specific number that is not on the kit's sheet. The kit does come with Cartograf decals for a CF-18 (including tail numbers 739, 746, 759, and 797. Older Leading Edge decals can be prone to shattering, so I might just use the tail numbers from Leading Edge, and the remainder of the kit decals. I will post a pic of the kit decals a bit later into the thread.

16 hours ago, Specter1075 said:

I've got a 1/32 Hornet in the stash (Kinetic's version of the Academy kit), with all the same extras as you. I'm waiting to build up my skills before tackling it, so I'll be watching your build with keen interest. I second the question about decals. I got a set from Canuck Models. Check them out if you haven't yet picked something for your build.

Does the Kinetic one have CF-18 decals? If it's the A/B/C/D version kit, it just might, but I can't remember. Canuck Models definitely does some very good quality decals, as does Leading Edge.

 

ALF

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Here's the SAC metal gear. Still debating what to do about them.

CJiKKUI.jpg

 

These are the decals. You can see the mix of USMC and Canadian markings. Cartograf is a fantastic quality product, so for sure I'll be using the stencils and the leading edge tape, perhaps more of them.

AhJGaz5.jpg

 

For the cockpit, one of the first questions is which Main Instrument Panel to use. First of all, for those who are sticklers for detail, you should know the kit comes with two parts, G26 and G27, which look virtually identical to the casual observer. The Canadian Hornet needs part G26 if you are not using the PE, because it contains the proper fuel and engine instrument (at the bottom left). Kit part G27, and the PE, actually include the F/A-18C fuel and engine electronic indicator, which looks a tiny bit different. This pic, from the back seat of a CF-18 dual (with the NVG or Night Vision Goggle upgrade incorporated), shows the engine and fuel instruments at bottom left.

epQnvjd.jpg

The front seat of the Canadian aircraft is very similar, but it includes a rotary grey knob to select various fuel tanks for display. You can just make it out on this shot, a DND Cold Lake photo.

WC8Lmaj.jpg

 

This is an F/A-18C engine/fuel gauge. I borrowed the image from DCS (Digital Combat Simulator), which has a great model of the F/A-18C. You can see the grey knob is not there next to the HSI, and the indicator itself is entirely digital, instead of analogue.

kJWWypX.jpg

 

Given that I am NOT Chuck (whose skills I will never match, but who knows, now that I'm retired and have more time!), I have decided not to paint the kit part but to use the PE. The PE comes with the C-model engine/fuel indications, but it looks fairly close to the Canadian panel, so we won't tell anybody, right?

 

Having explained what a real stickler for accuracy would do, I will show you what I considered for this one. First, the two panels (kit vs resin) are quite different. The kit one is the darker grey plastic, and you can see it comes with a 3D pedestal behind the panel, while the light grey resin is flat.

Nl5JTVD.jpg

 

The PE is sized for the kit panel, so I decided to check to see if the kit part would fit into the resin cockpit. Short answer: no. That 3D pedestal is problematic; it would mask the great moulding of the stick's base hardware, and would be too hard to chop down to size. The resin panel also fits beautifully into the resin cockpit, and looks about the same size as the PE, so I went with the resin panel.

 

The kit part does not fit nicely with the resin detail. This close-up does show the little analogue knob to select different fuel tanks for reading the quantities, though. If I were better at painting IPs, I might have gone with this.

VOFJmqW.jpg

 

Resin panel looks fantastic.

mJhnMmI.jpg

 

Here are the kit (darker colour) and resin (flat, lighter colour) panels on the instructions for the PE. All the blue areas need to be shaved of detail to apply the PE. It will be slow work!

RpfJBiM.jpg

 

ALF

 

Edited by ALF18
Removed an extra photo, and clarified text.
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19 minutes ago, AlienFrogModeller said:

Have a look here, this might interest you at MAKETAR stencils.

Wow! What a great option. Will definitely look into this, maybe not for this kit, but for future projects. I love to be able to create symmetrical-era markings, because my favourite memories are of flying CF-18s back in that era.

ALF

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I did some painting on the resin cockpit tub. I used Tamiya XF-19 for the light grey, which is a reasonable match for the PE light grey, as per a previous use on a big CF-18 model. I used Tamiya Flat black for the side panels, and splooged it into the avionics bay behind the seat. After the black dried, I added some light grey knobs by dry-brushing the side panels, and painted a lot of the avionics bay with XF-19 light grey and some light khaki green and yellow for the hoses. I also added the two red guarded switches to the side panels.

3LccP8n.jpg

 

KaDrwVM.jpg

 

The PE in progress. A couple notes: 

1. The UFC (Up-Front Control) data display fields show up as red on this PE. They should actually be a light green (NVG-friendly) colour, but I have nowhere near the tools nor the skills to correct that colour.

2. I coloured in the display PE with Lumocolor dark green permanent marker. This looks more like the "off" state of the displays; the PE comes with a FCS (Flight Control System) format for the left display, a BIT (Built In Test) format for the right display, and a digital map for the HSI. If building with power on, these are great, but CF-18 displays are dark green when powered off.

johEgKd.jpg

 

The CA glue has dried, so I can get busy on more of it. Takes my mind off my losing football pool today! 🙂

ALF

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13 minutes ago, skyhawk174 said:

Well Alf I am sure you know that the SAC gear would not be appropriate for a CF-18. But then your customer may not care or notice. 

Actually, he would notice - he's a pilot. The offending part (the shock absorber) is not part of the SAC gear. I'll flip it around. It may be a bit hyper-extended for a CF-18, but at least it would not be upside down.

ALF

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18 hours ago, ALF18 said:

Actually, he would notice - he's a pilot. The offending part (the shock absorber) is not part of the SAC gear. I'll flip it around. It may be a bit hyper-extended for a CF-18, but at least it would not be upside down.

ALF

 

Ok that makes sense. I know of a couple of guys who used some brass tube and some plastic rod to rebuild the shock and it came out ok. Maybe that is an option?

 

Also, I am surprised that you changed out all of that wonderful detail on the IP for that PE. I thought the IP looked great. Just wondering here.

 

EDIT: Ok never mind. It would help if I read your posts completely about you not wanting to paint the panel 😀

Edited by skyhawk174
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20 hours ago, ALF18 said:

Given that I am NOT Chuck (whose skills I will never match, but who knows, now that I'm retired and have more time!), I have decided not to paint the kit part but to use the PE. The PE comes with the C-model engine/fuel indications, but it looks fairly close to the Canadian panel, so we won't tell anybody, right?

 

 

 

ALF

 

Alf,

I won't tell anyone...but I will notice (teasing). I have approx 2500 hrs Class I and II instructing/running this aricraft for training/maintenance purposes...it was the main gauge used when initially starting the aircraft while engine spools up until it sustains combustions, then I turned the DDIs after that.

 

You're making me flinch and twitch...I need to start on my two 1/32 Hornets (735, XXX) soon. 

 

Cheers

AFM

Edited by AlienFrogModeller
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39 minutes ago, AlienFrogModeller said:

Alf,

I won't tell anyone...but I will notice (teasing). I have approx 2500 hrs Class I and II instructing/running this aricraft for training/maintenance purposes...it was the main gauge used when initially starting the aircraft while engine spools up until it sustains combustions, then I turned the DDIs after that.

 

You're making me flinch and twitch...I need to start on my two 1/32 Hornets (735, XXX) soon. 

 

Cheers

AFM

I only ever used the DDI engine gauges for two things: 1. test flight data gathering, and 2. seeing what the total inlet temp was when in potential icing conditions. If the TIT was below 5 Celsius, I just sped up "a bit" (tongue in cheek... usually involved adding 100 kts of more IAS to what I had at the time) to 400 or 500 knots, to melt the ice. When we had to go slower on approach, I used the engine anti-ice, and did only one approach to a full stop to avoid engine damage due to ice breaking off the intake lips on power-up for an overshoot.

In flight, we ALWAYS used the panel-mounted engine/fuel indications, because the DDIs were dedicated to tactically-required sensor and weapons displays. I had almost forgotten that the engine instruments were available on the DDI as well.

ALF

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4 minutes ago, ALF18 said:

I only ever used the DDI engine gauges for two things: 1. test flight data gathering, and 2. seeing what the total inlet temp was when in potential icing conditions. If the TIT was below 5 Celsius, I just sped up "a bit" (tongue in cheek... usually involved adding 100 kts of more IAS to what I had at the time) to 400 or 500 knots, to melt the ice. When we had to go slower on approach, I used the engine anti-ice, and did only one approach to a full stop to avoid engine damage due to ice breaking off the intake lips on power-up for an overshoot.

In flight, we ALWAYS used the panel-mounted engine/fuel indications, because the DDIs were dedicated to tactically-required sensor and weapons displays. I had almost forgotten that the engine instruments were available on the DDI as well.

ALF

Stupid Ice....Inlet ice caution would go off when the build up of the ice was over .025" on the probe. Cant remember how many engines we replaced due to ice.

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 It's pretty neat to see you guys go about your builds with the first hand knowledge backing it up. Without having anything to contribute, I do enjoy spectating. 

 

Not to de-rail things too much, but have either of you played around with the new F-18 sim that recently came out? 

 

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2 hours ago, Specter1075 said:

 It's pretty neat to see you guys go about your builds with the first hand knowledge backing it up. Without having anything to contribute, I do enjoy spectating. 

 

Not to de-rail things too much, but have either of you played around with the new F-18 sim that recently came out? 

 

Are you talking DCS?

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10 minutes ago, Specter1075 said:

I am. I know its not the same as Canadian variants, but just curious if you had any thoughts (If you have tried it).

I have tried the demo, but I didn't have the proper equipment to effectively play the sim. Although the startup from my perspective was very good. I do have some real time in the back seat (55 hrs), but I was too busy enjoying the view. So as limited as my in flight time is vs keyboard input , I did enjoy sitting in the cockpit of the flight sim.

Edited by AlienFrogModeller
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